, Volume 174, Issue 3, pp 407–416

The in-vivo response of the ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase activation state and the pool sizes of photosynthetic metabolites to elevated CO2 inPhaseolus vulgaris L.

  • Rowan F. Sage
  • Thomas D. Sharkey
  • Jeffrey R. Seemann

DOI: 10.1007/BF00959528

Cite this article as:
Sage, R.F., Sharkey, T.D. & Seemann, J.R. Planta (1988) 174: 407. doi:10.1007/BF00959528


The short-term, in-vivo response to elevated CO2 of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBPCase, EC activity, and the pool sizes of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate, 3-phosphoglyceric acid, triose phosphates, fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, glucose 6-phosphate and fructose 6-phosphate in bean were studied. Increasing CO2 from an ambient partial pressure of 360–1600 μbar induced a substantial deactivation of RuBPCase at both saturating and subsaturating photon flux densities. Activation of RuBPCase declined for 30 min following the CO2 increase. However, the rate of photosynthesis re-equilibrated within 6 min of the switch to high CO2, indicating that RuBPCase activity did not limit photosynthesis at high CO2. Following a return to low CO2, RuBPCase activation increased to control levels within 10 min. The photosynthetic rate fell immediately after the return to low CO2, and then increased in parallel with the increase in RuBPCase activation to the initial rate observed prior to the CO2 increase. This indicated that RuBPCase activity limited photosynthesis while RuBPCase activation increased. Metabolite pools were temporarily affected during the first 10 min after either a CO2 increase or decrease. However, they returned to their original level as the change in the activation state of RuBPCase neared completion. This result indicates that one role for changes in the activation state of RuBPCase is to regulate the pool sizes of photosynthetic intermediates.

Key words

Gas exchange Phaseolus (High-CO2 effects) Photosynthesis (regulation) Ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase 

Abbreviations and symbols


net CO2 assimilation rate


ambient CO2 partial pressure


intercellular CO2 partial pressure


2-carboxyarabinitol 1,5-bisphosphate


catalytic turnover rate per RuBPCase molecule


photon flux density (400 to 700 nm on an area basis)


3-phosphoglyceric acid




ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate


ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (EC

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rowan F. Sage
    • 1
  • Thomas D. Sharkey
    • 1
  • Jeffrey R. Seemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological Sciences CenterDesert Research InstituteRenoUSA
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.Department of BotanyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA

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